Clear (Verified Identity Pass)
Some start-ups are resurrected from the dead after a first bout with failure.
The company Verified Identity Pass launched its Clear service as a pre-screening effort that could unclog the tie-ups created by tightened airport security after 9/11.
An announcement sent to Clear's 250,000 customers in June 2009 announced that, due to a financing snag, it would cease operations. Founder Steven Brill (who also founded
, the predecessor to
) had been pushed out of the company by investors the year before.
Beyond money woes, other issues contributed to the demise. The Clear service was recognized at only 22 of roughly 600 national airports, for example, and
never had the full support
of the TSA.
Now, under the ownership of
is back. According to a press release this month: "Travelers through Orlando International Airport and Denver International Airport have used Clear ... more than half a million times" as of March 12.
It adds that Clear expects to launch services at San Francisco International Airport in the second quarter.
Billed as "the first and only biometric-based secure identification program for airport passenger security," Clear membership now costs $179 for one year with unlimited use.
-- Written by Joe Mont in Boston.
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